Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Freight Rail, Operations and Maintenance, Passenger Rail

Petition for resumption of Main North passenger services

main north


A petition has been delivered to the NSW Legislative Assembly seeking the restoration of passenger train services from Armidale to Queensland on the Main North railway line, which starts from Sydney and extends north to the Queensland border .

Trains North representatives presented Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall with the document, which has a total of 10,746 signatures. The petition will be presented in Parliament, where it is expected to be debated in due course.

Trains North president Matthew Tierney said he hoped the petition would prove to be a key milestone in establishing that public opinion in this region was “in favour of protecting the railway line, restoring it north of Armidale, and getting the trains running through to Queensland once more”.

“The social and economic future of this region depends to a large degree upon getting freight moving on the Main North Line, but also upon the restoration of proper public transport — and that means trains,” he said.

“Transport minister Jo Haylen has announced discounted fares on Fridays in the Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong metropolitan area to encourage use of passenger trains.

“But the need for good public transport in the regions is important too, and it deserves greater attention. And passenger trains on existing railway lines are the backbone of good public transport.”

Tierney said the railway line, north of Armidale, had been neglected for over three decades by successive governments, despite the growing popularity of the restored service north of Tamworth to Armidale.

Trains North vice-president Siri Gamage said the population in SouthEast Queensland was expected to grow to 4.3 million by 2030.

“Many residents in New England have close family or work connections with Queensland and students come from there to the schools and university at Armidale,” he said.

“It’s time for our regions to be connected by effective public transport and to reduce carbon emissions by moving goods by rail.”